Sunday Roast Chicken in a Pie.
(Roast Chicken and Sweet Potato Pie. Serves 8 )
Origin:I love any pie in any form! To me pies are the ultimate comfort food and if it weren’t for the fact that the buttery crispy crust was so high in calories, I could eat pie every day of my life! The original thing about pies, are that they can be your own creation. Any form of stew or casserole can be thickened and a pie crust added to create a different treat each time. Try making a delicious ox-tail, de-boning the meat and turn it into a scrumptious pie.
This Sunday, my brother was home from Germany for a whirl-wind visit, and having lived there for ten odd years, when he comes home he absolutely craves pies. (Germany – PIES – not!) We laugh at my mum as every time a coconut, when we fetch him from the airport, normally around lunch time, the family descend on her home for a quick catch up and lunch and you guessed it…she has picked up a dozen or so freshly made pies from our favorite bakery and so the gorging begins.
Anyway….Sunday family roast was my turn this week, and so with the wintry chill still blasting through the valley, we lit the fireplace (yes in Durban) opened the doors for some ventilation as it was only 12 degrees which is freezing for us ladies – the men think we are mad, and I turned my Sunday Roast Chicken into a comforting crispy pie.
(I am terrified of making pastry and always recommend using already rolled pastry – but this recipe has cured my phobia as it is just so easy to make, a bit fiddly to assemble, but SO WORTH IT. Please try it if you have a food processor and let me know the results.)
Roast Chicken and Sweet Potato Pie with Lemon Cream Pastry.
(Serves 8 )
Pastry: Click here for the best pastry recipe ever. SO EASY and SO DELICIOUS.
Roasting the sweet potato for the filling:
Peel and cube 2 large sweet potatoes and roast with a little olive oil and salt and pepper at 180 oC for about 20 minutes until cooked and start to caramelize. Set aside to add to the filling.
Roasting the chickens for the filling:
Roast 2 chickens in a large oven roasting bag for one hourat 180 oC. Add to the bag 2 red onions quartered, a few cloves of garlic, add a lemon or orange to each chicken cavity, a few sprigs of rosemary, fresh thyme and a dash or two of olive oil. Add ½ cup of water to the base of the bag before you tie it off. If you have any celery or carrots you may add one or two to the bag as well. The more flavors the better. (Before you add the lemons please zest one and set the zest aside for use in the filling.)
Allow the chickens to cool. Keep the liquid juices from the bag to use in the filling and strain off a little of the fat that will settle on the top. Remove all the fat, skin, and bone, and shred the meat of the two chickens. Set aside to cool.
Finely chop the now roasted onion, garlic and any other veges that you may have added to the roasting bag.
Making the filling:
the chicken meat and chopped vegetables from the 2 roast chickens (above)
250 g streaky bacon finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 punnet (400g) portabella mushrooms thinly sliced
50 g walnuts roughly chopped
300 ml chicken stock (use the juices collected from the roast and top up with stock to reach 300ml)
100ml Masala wine
20 ml flour dissolved in ½ cup of water
100ml double cream
zest of one lemon (saved from the lemon used above in the roasting bag)
5 ml fresh thyme
salt and pepper
roasted cubed sweet potato – now cooked and cooled.
- Chop the bacon into small pieces and fry in the olive oil until cooked. Add the sliced mushrooms and the walnuts.
- Once the mushrooms are cooked add all the meat and the chopped vegetables from the roast chicken to the frying pan. Add about 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves – no stems.
- Add the chicken stock and the wine. Bring to the boil.
- Fry gently for a few minutes stirring and allowing the meat to absorb the stock.
- Mix the flour in a little water to make a paste, and add to the frying mixture.
- Reduce until the juices are quite thick. (There should not be any ‘running’ liquid as this will make your pie base stodgy, however make sure the chicken mixture is moist and juicy.)
- Season well and taste the mixture.
- Gently stir in the cubes of roasted sweet potato.
- Lastly add the cream and zest of one lemon.
Assembly of the Pie:
- Pre-heat the oven to 250 oC.
- Prepare the pastry and the pie dish as per the recipe found here.
- Once you have the base and sides done and chilled, fill the pie with the mixture and add the lid per the pastry recipe instructions. (I used my ‘black bird’ in the centre as a vent and because this pastry is so buttery and light it ‘melted’ around the bird which poked through..was a bit worried but it all turned out great anyway? Egg wash with egg yolk and a little milk. Chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Put in the oven and after 5 minutes turn down the oven down to 220 oC and cook for a further 25 minutes or until golden brown.
- Serve with peas, homemade gravy and steamed carrots.